Events

Okay East Africa With Hailu Mergia & Low Mentality + Alsarah & The Nubatones [1/9]

On January 9th, 2015, Okayafrica and Multiflora will present "Okay East Africa," an APAP showcase featuring Hailu Mergia and Alsarah.


On January 9, Okayafrica and Multiflora will head to Baby's All Right for Okay East Africa. Going down in conjunction with the APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) conference, which assembles musicians from various parts of the world in New York each January, the showcase will feature shows by East African retro pop group Alsarah & The Nubatones and Ethiopian keyboardist/composer/arranger Hailu Mergia. Playing with Mergia, a celebrity in 1970s/80s Addis Ababa whose 1985 album Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument was recently rediscovered by Awesome Tapes from Africa, is the genre-melding band Low Mentality (led by Antibalas member Nikhil P. Yerawadekar). Sudanese songstress Alsarah will perform with her band, The Nubatones, playing Nubian songs and famous tracks from northern Sudan and southern Egypt that span from the 1970s to now. Finally, The Happy Show's Findlay Brown will be holding down the after-party, spinning African soul, disco, and funk. Check out the details and listen to a sampler of the "Okay East Africa" Showcase below.

>>>Join the "Okay East Africa" Facebook Event

Friday January 9

Okayafrica & Multiflora present "Okay East Africa" APAP Showcase

with Hailu Mergia & Low Mentality

Alsarah and the Nubatones

DJ sets by The Happy Show (Findlay Brown)

Doors 9PM

$12 ADV / $15 DOS

at Baby’s All Right

146 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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